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With the holidays quickly approaching – and with them, the holiday foods – many are preparing to break out the sweatpants and celery sticks for afterward. It’s nearly impossible to resist the desserts on the table at this time of year, but not every treat you enjoy has to come with a heaping side of guilt.

Over the weekend I decided to try my hand at making pumpkin soup. Going into this endeavor, I was very nervous that it would turn out less than satisfactory in trying to balance the sweet and the savory.

Thanks to Julia’s Album, I was able to create a soup that was far more than satisfactory in taste, as well as healthy so I can stay in my jeans this holiday season.

Julia’s recipe for pumpkin coconut soup with caramelized pecans is vegan and gluten-free, and it is a perfect balance between sweet and spicy. The Thai flavors and pumpkin balance each other out evenly, and the pecans add a flavorful crunch to keep it interesting.

No single flavor in the soup dominates the rest, but they all work together to create a soup that is perfectly spiced, sweet and savory all at once.

Another pro is that this recipe was extremely easy and quick to make.

The only downside to Julia’s soup, in my opinion, is that it is not meal material. Its splendor lasted for less than half a cup before I had my fill of pumpkin. (This could be just me, seeing as my father inhaled about two bowls.) Nevertheless, the experience was tasty while it lasted.

Julia’s pumpkin soup is ideal for small servings at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, and will not leave guests lying on the floor groaning. It is versatile as well; it could be served as an appetizer or even substitute for fattening desserts.

For a delicious, light treat this season, I recommend giving this recipe a shot. You’ll thank me in January when your skinny jeans still zip.

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